Big Guy, Little Guy

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Two guys who are often Heterosexual Life Partners, and usually embody the Fat and Skinny trope. That's just the start of the bundle of tropes these two embody.

This trope describes a pair of guys who always fight together, are best friends forever, and have a very obvious hierarchy: The little guy is always in charge, and if it overlaps with Brains and Brawn, the little guy is almost always the Brains. The big guy plays the Dumb Muscle role, but there's a catch, and this is important—often, the big guy will often have some pretty good ideas. The little guy always ignores the big guy's suggestion, only to come up with the idea himself just a split second later, as in Timon 'N' Pumbaa. Despite his occasional flashes of insight, the big guy is not obfuscating—he really is just a big dumb lug, and he often doesn't know his own strength.

The Little guy is usually listed first, since he's the leader, and they are always listed together, as if they are one entity. In fact, some episodes may center on the fact that they can't live without each other. Although these guys are seen most often in kid's shows, they are also played seriously.

See also Huge Guy, Tiny Girl, Those Two Guys, Those Two Bad Guys.

Examples of Big Guy, Little Guy include:

Anime and Manga

Comic Books

  • Asterix and Obelix.
  • Messrs. Shlubb and Klump from Sin City.
  • Sam and Max Freelance Police. Possible inversion, since Sam is the Big Guy but still the voice of reason holding Max (the Little Guy) back from indulging in "unnecessary violence" (loosely defined, since both Sam and Max are quite fond of solving problems with violence and gunplay).
  • Franky and The Goon. As in Sam and Max, Goon is the big guy but also the more sensible leader who reigns in his manic little partner(sometimes).
  • Newspaper Comic Jumpstart has a big guy who has nearly a dozen other big guy brothers, one of whom is in the NFL. Their highly intimidating (single!) father is at least 200 pounds lighter and one head smaller.
  • Hercules and Amadeus Cho from The Incredible Hercules.



  • George and Lennie in Of Mice and Men are a good serious example.
  • Discworld has Sergeant Colon and Corporal Nobbs, and Mr Pin and Mr Tulip.
    • Note that Colon actually outranks Nobby, which inverts the usual ranking of this trope. The puny Nobby is smarter than the overweight Colon, however.
  • Fletcher and Red in Half Moon Investigations to almost an extreme point, Fletcher "Half" Moon being small for his age and Red having been held back a year.
  • Freak and Max in Freakthe Mighty.
  • Lousewort and Sneezewort, the Punch Clock Villain duo in The Long Patrol.
  • In Dougal Dixon's Man After Man, some of the large, yeti-like tundra-dwellers evolve a partnership with small, nimble forest omnivores. The clever little omnivores scout out terrain and catch small game for their lumbering partners, and the tundra-dwellers carry their smaller companions across vast distances, hugging them close so they're kept warm by their big friends' thick fur.
  • Locke and Jean in the Gentleman Bastard Sequence Sequence, though Jean is a Genius Bruiser and has just as important a role as Locke in the brains area of their operation.
  • Inverted in The Dark Tower by the Hitler Brothers. The bigger brother, "George" is the brains compared to "Lennie" who is impatient and fairly stupid.
  • Mack and his friend/bossman Eddie Lui in the Emberverse. Also John Hordle and Alleyne Loring.
  • Vandemar and Croup, "the fox and the wolf", from Neverwhere.
  • Sergeant Hanks and Inspector Sussworth from The Borribles

Live-Action TV


  • Pet Shop Boys - Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money) -- "You've got the brawn, I've got the brain; Let's make lots of money"
  • They Might Be Giants - Particle Man "Universe Man, Universe Man, Size of the entire universe man. Usually kind to smaller man. Universe Man.

Pro Wrestling

  • This trope is used frequently in the Tag Team circuit, Notable examples being Rikishi and Scotty 2 Hotty, Chris Jericho and The Big Show, The British Bulldogs, and Spike Dudley and Balls Mahoney.


Video Games

  • Warcraft 3's Goblin Alchemist hero is a goblin riding an ogre.
  • In Arcanum, half-ogres are employed by gnomes as bodyguards (this becomes a plot point later on).
  • Drakengard: Seere (a six-year-old) and Golem (Who's so big his attacks come from the sky)
  • Kimahri and Yuna in Final Fantasy X. Less noticeable now, but Kimahri is over seven feet tall (still short for his race) and probably wasn't much shorter when he traveled with Yuna when she was a child. Also, when summoning Ifrit, she sits on his shoulder for a second, then gives him orders.
  • Zexion and Lexaeus from Kingdom Hearts. They both possess copious amounts of Brains and Brawn, seeing as Lexaeus is a Genius Bruiser and Zexion is a Badass Bookworm.
  • Maloof and Mikhail from Psychonauts.
  • Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong.
  • Pepperoni (a giant fairy) and Goto (who resides in a suit that is barely half of the main characters' height) from Mana-Khemia 2: Fall of Alchemy.
  • Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II had bosses Gorc and Pic, a Dark Jedi pair consisting of a huge Gamorrean and a tiny Kowakian Monkey-Lizard.
  • The Big Daddies in Bioshock are huge, lumbering mutations whose only goal is to protect the Little Sisters, who are small children.
  • Interesting example is Cream and Cheese from the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise. Cream would be the Little Guy to almost anyone in the franchise (she's only six, after all), but she's big compared to her ever-present companion Cheese.
  • In Tecmo Knight, the eponymous Knight is a Little Guy with three Big Guy partners (only one at a time) Smokeman, Tiger, and Dragon.
  • Team Fortress 2 has this when the Medic and the Heavy work as a team, and most of the time, they should.

Western Animation

  • Pinky and The Brain.
  • Bobble and Clank from the TinkerBell movies.
  • Pictured above, Mugsy (big guy) and Rocky (little guy) from Looney Tunes.
  • Spongebob and Patrick.
  • Gwizdo and Lian-Chu.
  • Timon and Puumba
  • Arguably Buford and Baljeet from Phineas and Ferb, except big/dumb Buford seems to be in charge of their relationship.
  • George and Junior from the Tex Avery shorts.
  • John Silver and Jim Hawkins, subverted in that John is actually the more intelligent of the two while little Jim is the bruiser.
  • Combined with square and round from Pixar:
  • The enormous gorilla Grape Ape is always found with his little canine pal Beegle Beagle. Also a case of Brains and Brawn, Beegle being the Brains
  • Also from Hanna-Barbera, Yogi Bear and his sidekick Boo-Boo. While Yogi is "smarter than the average bear", Boo-Boo seems to have more common sense, often playing Straight Man to his friend.
  • Noah and Owen from Total Drama Island
  • In Underdog, the hero's Arch Enemy is the Mad Scientist Simon Bar Sinister, a nasty, green-skinned guy who appears to be only two feet tall. He has a huge, hulking henchman named Cad Lackey. Cad is actually a lot smarter than he looks, often pointing out flaws in his boss' plans.
    • Also, in the show's Klondike Cat segments, the thief Savoir Faire (a mouse) has a sled dog accomplice named Malamutt who's a little over twice his size. Malamutt never speaks (except to grunt, whimper, or occasionally giggle) but clearly isn't dumb, as he can play the violin and piano.
  • Big and Little, riding Gruesome Twosome in Wacky Races.
  • Yuzu and Nonki from Maryoku Yummy.
  • Mordecai and Rigby as well as Muscle Man and High Five Ghost from "Regular Show"
  • Ren and Stimpy most of the time play this trope to a T.
  • Blinky and Aaarrrgghh!!! from Trollhunters. While Blinky is larger than a human, Aaarrrgghh!!! is still about twice as big as Blinky.
  • Horace and Jasper, Cruella de Vil's henchmen in 101 Dalmatians. Horace is short, fat, and dumb; Jasper is tall, thin and dumb!
  • The Transformers
    • Bumblebee is always the Little Guy when he's with another Autobot, and their human friends are the Little Guys whenever they work with any Autobot.
    • Villain example, Soundwave is a Big Guy with several Little Guy Decepticons that transform into cassette tapes, like Ravage, Laserbeak, and Rumble.
    • They went a little nuts with this in late in Generation One when the Nebulan arc started, with many big Transformers having a pint-sized partner for some reason. The Headmasters were big guys with a little guy - the driver of the vehicle form for Autobots, the trainer of the monstrous form for Decepticons - who turned into the head of the big guy's robot form. With Target Masters, the little guy turned into the big guy's weapon. Power Masters were little guys who provided a special engine for the big guy that enabled said big guy to transform.
  • Fievel and Tiger from An American Tail, although Tiger is only a Big Guy when compared to the rest of the cast.

Real Life

  • Big Chuck and Li'l John, who hosted movies on TV in Cleveland, OH.
  • Terence Hill and Budd Spencer.
  • Stand up comedians Patton Oswalt (5'7") and Brian Posehn (6'6") joke that they look like something out of a horror movie when they're seen walking together.